Lectionary Calendar
Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Daniel 10

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical




The tenth through twelfth chapters more fully describe the vision in the eighth chapter by a second vision on the same subject, just as the vision in the seventh chapter explains more fully that in the second. The tenth chapter is the prologue; the eleventh, the prophecy itself; and the twelfth, the epilogue. The tenth chapter unfolds the spiritual worlds as the background of the historical world (Job 1:7; Job 2:1; Zechariah 3:1; Zechariah 3:2; Revelation 12:7), and angels as the ministers of God's government of men. As in the world of nature (John 5:4; Revelation 7:1-3), so in that of history here; Michael, the champion of Israel, and with him another angel, whose aim is to realize God's will in the heathen world, resist the God-opposed spirit of the world. These struggles are not merely symbolical, but real (1 Samuel 16:13-15; 1 Kings 22:22; Ephesians 6:12).

Verse 1

1. third year of Cyrus—two years after Cyrus' decree for the restoration of the Jews had gone forth, in accordance with Daniel's prayer in :-. This vision gives not merely general outlines, or symbols, but minute details of the future, in short, anticipative history. It is the expansion of the vision in :-. That which then "none understood," he says here, "he understood"; the messenger being sent to him for this (Daniel 10:11; Daniel 10:14), to make him understand it. Probably Daniel was no longer in office at court; for in Daniel 1:21, it is said, "Daniel continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus"; not that he died then. See on Daniel 1:21- :.

but the time appointed was long—rather, "it (that is, the prophecy) referred to great calamity" [MAURER]; or, "long and calamitous warfare" [GESENIUS]. Literally, "host going to war"; hence, warfare, calamity.

Verse 2

2. mourning—that is, afflicting myself by fasting from "pleasant bread, flesh and wine" (Daniel 10:3), as a sign of sorrow, not for its own sake. Compare Daniel 10:3- :, "fast," answering to "mourn" (Daniel 10:3- :). Compare 1 Corinthians 8:8; 1 Timothy 4:3, which prove that "fasting" is not an indispensable Christian obligation; but merely an outward expression of sorrow, and separation from ordinary worldly enjoyments, in order to give one's self to prayer (1 Timothy 4:3- :). Daniel's mourning was probably for his countrymen, who met with many obstructions to their building of the temple, from their adversaries in the Persian court.

Verse 3

3. no pleasant bread—"unleavened bread, even the bread of affliction" ( :-).

anoint—The Persians largely used unguents.

Verse 4

4. first month—Nisan, the month most suited for considering Israel's calamity, being that in which the feast of unleavened bread reminded them of their Egyptian bondage. Daniel mourned not merely for the seven days appointed (Exodus 12:18), from the evening of the fourteenth to the twenty-first of Nisan, but thrice seven days, to mark extraordinary sorrow. His mourning ended on the twenty-first day, the closing day of the passover feast; but the vision is not till the twenty-fourth, because of the opposition of "the prince of Persia" (Exodus 12:18- :).

I was by . . . the . . . river—in waking reality, not a trance (Exodus 12:18- :); when younger, he saw the future in images, but now when old, he receives revelations from angels in common language, that is, in the apocalyptic mode. In the patriarchal period God often appeared visibly, that is, theophany. In the prophets, next in the succession, the inward character of revelation is prominent. The consummation is when the seer looks up from earth into the unseen world, and has the future shown to him by angels, that is, apocalypse. So in the New Testament there is a parallel progression: God in the flesh, the spiritual activity of the apostles and the apocalypse [AUBERLEN].

Hiddekel—the Tigris.

Verse 5

5. lifted up mine eyes—from the ground on which they had been fixed in his mourning.

certain man—literally, "one man." An angel of the highest order; for in :- he commands Gabriel to make Daniel to understand the vision, and in Daniel 12:6 one of the two angels inquires of him how long it would be till the end predicted.

linen—the raiment of priests, being the symbol of sanctity, as more pure than wool (Daniel 12:6- :); also of prophets (Daniel 12:6- :); and of angels (Daniel 12:6- :).

girded with . . . gold—that is, with a girdle interwoven with gold (Daniel 12:6- :).

Verse 6

6. beryl—literally, "Tarshish," in Spain. The beryl, identical with the chrysolite or topaz, was imported into the East from Tarshish, and therefore is called "the Tarshish stone."

Verse 7

7. they fled—terrified by the presence of the angel.

Verse 8

8. comeliness—literally, "vigor," that is, lively expression and color.

into corruption—"deadliness," that is, death-like paleness (Daniel 5:6; Daniel 7:28).

Verse 9

9. voice of his words—the sound of his words.

was I in a deep sleep—"I sank into a deep sleep" [LENGKERKE].

Verse 10

10. an hand—namely, of Gabriel, who interpreted other revelations to Daniel ( :-) [THEODORET].

set me upon my knees—GESENIUS translates, "cause me to reel on my knees," &c.

Verse 11

11. man . . . beloved—(See on Daniel 9:23).

understand—"attend to." See Daniel 8:17; Daniel 8:18.

Verse 12

12. Fear not—Be not affrighted at my presence.

didst set thine heart to understand—what shall come to pass to thy people at the last times (compare Daniel 10:14).

chasten thyself— (Daniel 10:2; Daniel 10:3).

thy words were heard— (Acts 10:4). Prayer is heard at once in heaven, though the sensible answer may seem to be delayed. God's messenger was detained on the way (Acts 10:4- :) by the opposition of the powers of darkness. If in our prayers amidst long protracted sorrows we believed God's angel is on his way to us, what consolation it would give us!

for thy words—because of thy prayers.

Verse 13

13. prince of . . . Persia—the angel of darkness that represented the Persian world power, to which Israel was then subject. This verse gives the reason why, though Daniel's "words were heard from the first day" ( :-), the good angel did not come to him until more than three weeks had elapsed (Daniel 10:4).

one and twenty days—answering to the three weeks of Daniel's mourning (Daniel 10:4- :).

Michael—that is, "Who is like God?" Though an archangel, "one of the chief princes," Michael was not to be compared to God.

help me—Michael, as patron of Israel before God (Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1), "helped" to influence the Persian king to permit the Jews' return to Jerusalem.

I remainedI was detained there with the kings of Persia, that is, with the angel of the Persian rulers, with whom I had to contend, and from whom I should not have got free, but for the help of Michael. GESENIUS translates, "I obtained the ascendency," that is, I gained my point against the adverse angel of Persia, so as to influence the Persian authorities to favor Israel's restoration.

Verse 14

14. what shall befall thy people in the latter days—an intimation that the prophecy, besides describing the doings of Antiochus, reaches to the concluding calamities of Israel's history, prior to the nation's full restoration at Christ's coming—calamities of which Antiochus' persecutions were the type.

vision is for many days—that is, extends far into the future.

Verse 15

15. face toward the ground—in humble reverence (Genesis 19:1).

dumb—with overwhelming awe.

Verse 16

16. touched my lips—the same significant action wherewith the Son of man accompanied His healing of the dumb (Mark 7:33). He alone can give spiritual utterance (Isaiah 6:6; Isaiah 6:7; Ephesians 6:19), enabling one to "open the mouth boldly." The same one who makes dumb (Daniel 10:15) opens the mouth.

sorrows—literally, "writhings" as of a woman in travail.

Verse 17

17. this . . . this my lord—to avoid the tautology in English Version, join rather "this," with "servant," "How can this servant of my lord (that is, how can I who am so feeble) talk with this my lord (who is so majestic)?" Thus Daniel gives the reason why he is so overwhelmed with awe [MAURER].

Verse 18

18. again . . . touched me—It was gradually that Daniel recovered his strength. Hence there was need of the second touch, that he might hear the angel with composure.

Verse 19

19. peace be unto thee—God is favorable to thee and to thy people Israel. See Judges 13:21; Judges 13:22, as to the fear of some evil resulting from a vision of angels.

Verse 20

20. Knowest thou wherefore—The angel asks, after Daniel had recovered from his fright, whether he has understood what was revealed ( :-). On Daniel, by his silence, intimating that he did understand, the angel declares he will return to renew the fight with the evil angel, the prince of Persia. This points to new difficulties to the Jews' restoration which would arise in the Persian court, but which would be counteracted by God, through the ministry of angels.

prince of Grecia shall come—Alexander the Great, who conquered Persia, and favored the Jews [CALVIN]. Rather, as the prince of Persia is an angel, representing the hostile world power, so the prince of Grecia is a fresh angelic adversary, representing Greece. When I am gone forth from conquering the Persian foe, a fresh one starts up, namely, the world power that succeeds Persia, Greece; Antiochus Epiphanes, and his antitype Antichrist, but him, too, with the help of Michael, Israel's champion, I shall overcome [GEJER].

Verse 21

21. noted in the scripture of truth—in the secret book of God's decrees (Psalms 139:16; Revelation 5:1), which are truth, that is, the things which shall most surely come to pass, being determined by God (compare John 17:17).

none . . . but Michael—To him alone of the angels the office of protecting Israel, in concert with the angelic speaker, was delegated; all the world powers were against Israel.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/daniel-10.html. 1871-8.
Ads FreeProfile